Getting Away With It: Maritza Campos

Maritza Campos of College Roommates From Hell!!! has recently begun a storyline involving Blue, in her school uniform, interacting with Dave. As Blue’s school uniform is a Tartan skirt, she makes use of one of my personal pet peeves: Scanned tartans.

Scanned Tartans in comics can be incrediably hideous: They don’t follow the curve of the kilt (or skirt), forcing the unforunate Scotsman or schoolgirl to have a two-dimensional groin region. In animation, it can be even worse, as the tartan often won’t even move with the character wearing it, making it incrediably hideous.

Yet, by using the attention to detail which is one of the trademarks of all modern CRFH strips, Maritza makes it work. Let’s look at a sample:


Note how by shifting the tartan up and down the tartan seems to follow the folds of the skirt, instantly giving it a third dimension. Admittedly, it’s not perfect: Some skew would be needed to slightly tilt the tartan’s horizontal lines, and, particularly near the back of the skirt, gently curving the vertical lines to make them follow the skirt would be more ideal. Still, it takes close analysis to spot the minor flaws remaining, and, given it’s the best use of a scanned fabric I have ever seen in my life, I can only approve of Maritza’s successful use of an idea that i have only seen result in hideous failure before. Bravo!

2 replies on “Getting Away With It: Maritza Campos”

  1. I’ve always hated flat tartan or plaid patterns in comics as well. You don’t see them that often in print comics anymore, fortunately.
    Yes, Maritza’s approach does work.

  2. I recall some occasions on which the Warner Brothers crew would intentionally do the “tartan stays static despite character moving” schtick for the visual gag. But in general, yes, it’s a cheap cop-out. Another triumph for Maritza!

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